Friday, September 23, 2011

Pilot 2: "Up All Night"

I went into this show skeptical. I was completely ready to be proven wrong. Sadly, I'm kind of still waiting.

So here's the premise: A couple that loves to party has a baby and they try to adjust to their new lifestyle and hilarity ensues. Christina Applegate plays the producer of a talk show, starring Maya Rudolph. Will Arnett is a former lawyer who is now a stay-at-home dad.

Before I go into my review, here are the reasons I was worried.
  • First, the show is based around three characters. There's a reason why ensemble shows usually do so well: you don't get overly sick of the amount of screen time of one of the characters. I'm already getting sick of Christina Applegate's character and I've seen less than an hour of her. Also, with only three characters, the potential storylines are limited when creating realistic characters. 
  • Second, the show is based on a raising an infant and the adjustment. The show is painting itself into a corner if it focuses too much on the baby and the problems she causes. Eventually, parents adjust, kids grow, life goes on, and it stops being funny. 
  • Third, it's on at a horrible time. I would have never known it was on if I weren't flipping around in commercials of the other show I was watching. 
  • Fourth, the show after it, "Free Agents", is crap. If I get bored, I may review it, but it's probably not worth the review. When "Free Agents" gets canceled, "Up All Night" will either be floating alone and if it doesn't find another sitcom to latch onto, it will probably get lost in the shuffle.
  • Lastly, before they had the baby, they were portrayed as hard partiers. Like, dancing on the bar kind of drinkers. Maybe this is just me, but if you partied that hard for that long, I can't imagine you become this amazing parent nine months later. Their house is filled with baby toys and looks like a messy version of a Pottery Barn catalog. Did they become pod people once she got pregnant and changed EVERYTHING but the desire to go out and stay out all night? No remnants of the life they used to live?
I'm kind of cheating because I've already seen the second episode as well, but I'd give the show a B, (a B- before seeing the second episode). There isn't a hook to this show yet. It needs to hook me in. I don't get excited to watch it. I watch it because I don't have cable and it's on hulu.

Also, the biggest way this show can improve is to round out the cast. In the second episode, we saw more people who work on the talk show, but unless they bring some more people into the home life portion as well (in-town relatives, other stay at home dads, even a cleaning lady), the show will just turn into a show about the talk show.

Additionally, if the show chooses to stay focused on just the three characters, they need to be developed and less over the top. There was a moment in the second episode where they were editing their facebook profiles so that the cool new neighbors would think they're cool. That's relatable. Not being able to find the normal cheese in a grocery store. Relatable. Trying to stay up all night on your anniversary, drinking and singing karaoke. Not relatable. Just because the title is "Up All Night" doesn't mean they actually have to be up all night in every episode.

I'll keep watching it because, well, I still don't have cable and I do hope that it turns itself around. I love Christina Applegate and Maya Rudolph, but my love alone won't save this show from a one season run unless some changes are made.

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